SmartTV or TV+AppleTV/AmazonFirteTV? (newbie to buy hw in US as just moved!)

manolain

Distinguished
Dec 10, 2008
4
0
18,510
0
Hi guys,

Hope you guys can help me out to get clear on this world of smarTVs, TVboxes and TV apps where I am not very wise, if any at all! How easy we get old! :)

So here are the facts:
- I just moved to US
- I need to buy new TV set
- I want to watch typical stuff: HBO, Netflix, showtime and BeIN sport (any European in US wants :)
- I own a PS3

So my first thought was to buy a smartTV (was hardly to make any comparisons as I am a samsung guy) and sign up for Verizon internet and TV services.

But I found this article while researching, that recommends just to skip smartTV software and rely on set-top boxes (such as apple TV, amazon Fire, Roku or similar)
http://www.howtogeek.com/176392/smart-tvs-are-stupid-why-you-dont-really-want-a-smart-tv/

Everything was triggered because I saw many people in amazon complaining about Samsung SmartTV software (fleeky, hungs up regularly), especially regarding about netflix (lot of forums found on how to solve this).

So here are the questions I do have
- Whats your opinion on this? I found that the difference in price for same manufacturer between smartTV and regular TV is really low.
- If going for a TV box hardware, which one would you go for? AppleTV? Amazon? Roku?
- I see that, for example, apple TV offers HBO, showtime, netflix...does this mean that, if I buy this hardware, I don't need to pay Verizon for these channels and I can go to a cheaper channel plan?
(this would make better case to buy something like appleTV as per the prior question)
- I would like to have some Spanish channels apps, I guess I need to reach every TV box manufacturer (apple, amazon, roku) and check their list of available apps, right?

any help will be very appreciated!
 

inanition02

Distinguished
Sep 21, 2011
157
0
18,660
9
I was previously huge on buying a regular TV and hooking up either a media PC or Amazon stick (I use Netflix, Amazon Prime and play MKV files on a server on my network). Then over the holiday season I picked up an LG 4k smart tv (with WebOS 2.0). Wow. It works better for Netflix and Amazon than my media pc or sticks did and even found my server on the network/can play the MKV files. It drastically simplified my setup and can output sound from any of those sources to my soundbar, making audio setup cake.

The only things I've lost from the going away from the separate solutions were:

1. WatchESPN
2. Ability to play PC games
3. Blu-ray disc playing

So I did end up keeping the media PC around, but it rarely gets used - the smart tv built in features are so much quicker to use. I'd go smart tv all the way (and recommend LG - I know, I'm a samsung guy for phones and tablets too...but the LG TV software is much better in my opinion) and if there's anything you miss, then maybe pick up a cheap fire stick or chrome cast.

To answer your other questions:
- If buying a separate solution, I'd go with whichever ecosystem you're biggest in. I.e., if you have apple and iTunes items, go with AppleTV; if you have Amazon accounts and love their video, get the Fire Stick. Or go chrome cast if you have all android.
- AppleTV (and other solutions) have HBO/Showtime/etc - but you have to still pay for them separately even if you have the hardware. It may be cheaper or more expensive than Verizon depending on your plan.
- If you have specific needs in content, definitely check the sites of the smart tv or box makers to see what they offer.
 
If the differential is minimal, that's no brainer right. But be prepared to buy an external box/boxes anyway to augment the number of Apps, the TV's built-in is at the most a dozen. Yes, you have to find out what Apps each box offers. And basically if you already have cable service for a particular channel, you can also get it online free, if it's offered. So TV with 2 HDMI absolute minimum, 4 HDMI is better, or a Receiver with 4+ HDMI inputs.
 

manolain

Distinguished
Dec 10, 2008
4
0
18,510
0


Thanks very much for your answer
Searching on internet, I found some complaints about people saying that there are some options that are very complicated to find
For example: for dual language programs, it is very difficult to find the option of changing the language, and once you do this for the channel you are watching, if you go to different channel, you have to do it again
Can you check this on yours and confirm?
Thanks a lot
 

inanition02

Distinguished
Sep 21, 2011
157
0
18,660
9


Are there particular programs you're interested in? Are you talking about Verizon content or apps on the tv? I know I have certain channels from my cable provider in Spanish but that's about all.
 

manolain

Distinguished
Dec 10, 2008
4
0
18,510
0


I guess that everything coming from the cable provider should be handled by the Verizon device right?
Maybe you can try with those channels in Spanish from your provider and give me your feedback?

What about subtitles? this is something we use massively, again how the TV works on this? Shall we rely in the Verizon device or is this set up from TV? If you select to put subtitles on, will this choice remain while changing channels?
 

inanition02

Distinguished
Sep 21, 2011
157
0
18,660
9


For me, the options for captioning and language are on the cable box remote, not the LG remote (it's just displaying what the cable box is sending - I have Time Warner Cable). For apps, captioning seems to work where supported, but not sure how to change language.
 
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
M Streaming Video & TVs 0
A Streaming Video & TVs 2
K Streaming Video & TVs 1
P Streaming Video & TVs 4
S Streaming Video & TVs 1
l3tr1xingame Streaming Video & TVs 2
C Streaming Video & TVs 1
S Streaming Video & TVs 1
M Streaming Video & TVs 1
Nervly Streaming Video & TVs 3
S Streaming Video & TVs 1
M Streaming Video & TVs 2
J Streaming Video & TVs 3
K Streaming Video & TVs 1
H Streaming Video & TVs 6
G Streaming Video & TVs 1
K Streaming Video & TVs 26
H Streaming Video & TVs 1
M Streaming Video & TVs 15
C Streaming Video & TVs 3

ASK THE COMMUNITY